Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

TPP is 'vital to US involvement in Asia': PM Lee

Published on Jun 25, 2014 7:46 AM

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a vital component of the United States' continued involvement in a rapidly shifting Asia, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday.

In a dialogue hosted by US think tank Council on Foreign Relations, Mr Lee reiterated the importance of the wide-ranging free trade pact in underpinning America's rebalancing towards Asia, which US President Barack Obama has made a key pillar of US foreign policy.

Asia "is changing, China is growing, developing, becoming more influential and will become more so by the day," Mr Lee told a 145-strong audience of diplomats, academics and journalists. "It is a region where things are moving and which America is part of and has to engage in actively."

Even as the US currently grapples with foreign policy issues elsewhere - including unfolding crises in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine - Mr Lee said he hoped the TPP, a "serious measure which shows the seriousness" of America's engagement with Asia, remains on the US agenda.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!